Ancient Shrines and Half Truths is more of a long-term investment in your Fringe experience than an unforgettable one-time engagement. Although, that’s not to say that you won’t leave with some pretty wild stories as well.

New Zealand’s Binge Culture Collective, creators of the cardboard-clad beached whales spotted around the city, brings us this new interactive experience meant to challenge visitors and locals alike to look harder at the world around them.

Equipped with a phone and headphones, you depart from Summerhall and do a quick tutorial before going off on your own to explore the Meadows. The audio guides you as you get to certain points, helping you to cultivate mindfulness.

Much of the narration focuses on the concept of being like a local: the difference between being a tourist and being an elusive, “traveller.” It prompts you to give those around you a second look to see if you can find love, tells you the local secrets and histories and leads you down a path of your own choosing to an unexpected adventure.

While sometimes the quest for “authenticity” can seem contrived or the experience itself silly, there is something important about the way it forces you to engage with the city. Though certainly not for everyone, those with an open mind will find that Ancient Shrines teaches you to fully experience things that will outlast the performance.

Words: Emily Hall

Ancient Shrines and Half-Truths, Summerhall, Aug 6-27 (not 7, 14, 15, 27), times vary

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